365th Festival of Clergy Support Trust

The sun was shining as we headed to St Pauls Cathedral for the 365th Festival of the Clergy Support Trust (formerly known as Sons of the Clergy).  

Whilst Malcolm was seated in the “consorts” area I and many other Masters were gowned up in an adjoining chapel before processing to our seat under the beautiful dome.

The service began with the three choirs of St Pauls, Canterbury and Coventry singing at the back of the Cathedral. The Introit was All night vigil with music by Rachmaninov, and I have to say put hairs up on the back of my neck, such was the beauty of the singing. On a personal note this reminded me of my father who loved church music; how he would have loved to have been there too.

The Service continued with testimonials by Rev. Samuel Waako and Rev. Karen Jones, and the sermon preached by the Biship of Gloucester whose family had also benefited from the Clergy Support Trust.

After the Service ended Malcolm and I were joined by the Deputy Master Jeff and Catherine Fuller, Mike Holliday and Diana Malzer for supper at a local restaurant.

Pewter Live

It is always a pleasure to see craftsmanship at its best, and Pewter Live is no exception.

Pewter Live is all about encouraging innovation in design in order to exploit pewter to its full potential and produce ideas which will stretch the boundaries of this marvellous metal.

The design competition had the theme of “Peace” and there were some innovative designs on the theme on display.

The Master couldn’t resist buying a piece of jewellery from Gill Clement!

Sounding the Retreat

There is nothing quite like the sound of a military band, particularly when it is performed in the sunshine of a late spring evening at the Beating of the Retreat. Malcolm and I had been invited to the Chatham Beating Retreat by 1RSME, our affiliated regiment.

After being taken care of by a young RE Officer James, we headed to the parade square to listen and watch the Royal Logistics Corps as they marched and played. The marching was absolutely in unison whilst the music was being played.

The salute was taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent.

This event was probably the last time that we would meet Lt. Col. Will Robinson as he is moving on to another assignment in August, so we wished him well before leaving for home.

Dining with the Joiners and Ceilers

Malcolm and I were delighted to join the Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers for their Summer Banquet at Surgeon Barbers’ Hall. It was a warm spring evening so we were able to enjoy reception drinks in the garden whilst listening to the band of 241 Air Cadet Corps.

I was seated next to the Upper Warden which gave us an opportunity to discuss training (or the lack of) in the construction sector and we both hoped that the Construction livery companies would work together to solve this contentious issue.

The toast to the guests was proposed by Herr Mathis Berger, a Swiss architect, and in a most amusing fashion too. As he welcomed me, he mentioned that the Swiss Guilds did not yet have women members – some things never change, I guess. The Principal guests was His Honour Judge Lucraft QC, the Chief Coroner of England and Wales who talked about his role and some of the inquests he had to preside over. Follow that! Said the Master, but he did and brought the evening to a rousing close.

Speech Day at Christ’s Hospital

The week ended with a visit to Christ’s Hospital, Horsham for their Speech Day celebrating the work of the Grecian’s (Upper Sixth in my parlance). This was our first visit to this beautiful brick built school.

The day began with a Service in the Chapel. The choir sang with the voices of angels and hymns accompanied by the brass section of the School’s band.

Immediately after the Service there was a march past by the whole school. The Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and other principal guests took the salute as the school marched past, marching in time, and to the accompaniment of the band. It was then time to repair to Big School for the Prize Giving.

As I write this blog I am waiting hear how Onyinye got on with her degree, and look forward to meeting Mohamed who will be our next Presentee at Christ’s Hospital.